Sophie was painting the bathroom door the other the weekend while I was sitting here writing an article for Insider’s Edge.
Suddenly I heard her calling: “Tom”, “Toooooooom!”
I rushed through to the bathroom to see what was wrong expecting to see blood on the ceiling, a broken sink and possibly a dead body in the bath.
Thankfully I was way off about the dead body thing and the reality was less extreme. She was standing in the bathroom, arms outstretched with a bemused look on her face, absolutely covered in white paint.
She looked like a tiny black and white minstrel.
“Arrrrggggh! What am I going to do, we haven’t got any white spirit” she pleaded.
I chivalrously told her to stay put and got to work finding a solution. Here are 4 ways to remove paint from your hands which have been vigorously tried and tested.
Actually I’m going to cheat a little with the first one…
1. Put Vaseline on your hands before you get started
This is more of a preventative measure really rather than a ‘fix’ – not terribly helpful if you’re already covered in paint. In fact positively annoying, but this is still a golden tip.
If you’re preparing for a painting job Vaseline is a MUST. Rub it on your hands and your forearms and it’ll help protect you from getting paint dried onto your skin.
Why? Because it literally forms a barrier between the paint and your skin. When you’ve finished the job simply wash your hands under the sink and the paint should come off easily.
2. Wash your hands in mayonnaise (seriously)
I know it sounds strange but it works. You might want to take a deep breath before you attempt this one though because it absolutely pongs…
Pour some mayonnaise into the palm of your hands, leave it a little while to settle and then rub them together as if you’re washing your hands with soap. This should help remove the bulk (if not all of) the paint.
Mayonnaise has oil in it which helps to remove the paint from your skin.
3. Scrub the paint off with olive oil and salt
Simple but very effective. In fact this trick alone should see you through.
Wash your hands in water first to get rid of any excess paint. Now pour some olive oil into the palm of your hand and add a generous amount of salt.
Rub your hands together and any covered areas using a circular motion. The oil will help break down the paint and the salt will literally scrub away the excess.
4. Last resort – use a dab of white spirit
The chances are if you’re reading this article you’ve run out of white spirit, but it works very well so it deserves a mention.
Apply a SMALL amount of white spirit to tissue paper and rub gently onto any areas of your skin still covered in paint. You should see the paint coming off straight away. Wash your hands with soap and water afterwards immediately to get rid of the chemicals.
You might want to apply some hand cream afterwards because white spirit will dry your hands out, it’s pretty lethal stuff.
IMPORTANT: Do not use this tip if you suffer from skin allergies or have very dry or sensitive skin. These are very strong chemicals and could do serious damage.